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Lee Ann Womack

Something Worth Leaving Behind – 2002 (MCA Nashville)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Lee Ann Womack

With her previous "I Hope You Dance" album and single, Lee Ann Womack graduated to the female country A-list. And no doubt, its crossover appeal must have presented quite the temptation to go all the way with pop. This surrounds Womack's sweetly quivering vocals with plenty of orchestration and grand production, yet Womack's personable style never gets completely lost within its busy mix.

This title track follows a philosophical path similar to her breakthrough hit. In it, Womack compares herself to everybody from Mozart to Jesus, in an attempt to determine if her life will leave any kind of a lasting impact. But Womack fairs far better with much smaller lyrical concerns. This is exemplified by the way she gets her hands dirty with the gritty rock-twang of Julie Miller's "I Need You" or wallows in the pity of "He'll Be Back." These two tracks present a Womack sans all the unnecessary bells and whistles

Womack could have easily left much of this album's production grandiosity behind. Still, since it's nearly impossible to mess up the winning combination of a fine singer singing classy songs, this ultimately leaves a positive lasting impression.